New to Hashing

All about hashing with Aberdeen Hash House Harriers

If you have got this far on our website, you probably have "Half a Mind" to Hash!

Sometimes described as a "drinking club with a running problem", thousands of "Hash House Harriers" around the world take to the open country each week for some serious exercise and some even more serious refreshment.

"Hashing" as it has come to be known, takes place regularly up and down the Country, as eager runners and/or drinkers combine an invigorating run with more than the odd pint, before, after and even during the trail.

What do you need?

  • A sense of humour.

  • Running clothes: it is best to dig out those old trainers and sweatshirts, it can get muddy.

  • A change of clothes, it's always useful to have something dry to change into afterwards.

What to expect

  • Arrive 20 minutes or so, before the advertised start time. This allows you to pay your dues to "Hash Cash" and register you as a participant.

  • Don't worry, someone will see that you are new and take you under their wing.

  • Trails are called to order by the Grand Master (GM) using some of the following terms "Circle Up" or Form a Circle", this is the cue for the pack to form a circle round the GM.

  • The GM then welcomes the pack, including new runners and visiting Hashers. This is so the pack know who you are and can look after you while on the trail.

  • The GM will nominate a SCRIBE for the trail.

  • SCRIBE duties are to record the events of the day for posterity ( preferably including a few jokes and tall stories to brighten it up)

  • The GM will also give out run awards if they are due.

  • The Hares are then requested to explain the niceties of their trail, such as the markings they used and any potential hazards that need to be avoided.

Trails laid by Aberdeen H3 are generally laid using "Flour", but sometimes in built up areas, chalk may be used.

Typical Aberdeen H3 trail markings are:

Flour Spots

" SPOTS" of flour make up the trail, and remember "The Flour is Your Friend"!

At each spot it is good etiquette to call "ON ON" to let the following pack or those who may be off trail know where the trail is heading.

Usually, these spots are placed at about 20 or so meter intervals and should be easily found, especially if the hare wants you to follow trail.

Check Point

A circle of flour (sometimes with a cross inside) is a "Check" point, where the trial ahead could go in one of a number of various directions and has to be found. If you arrive first to this point, you should stand by or "Hold the Check" until fellow hashers find the trail and call "ON ON". At this point you will mark the direction of the trail, by "kicking the circle out" in the direction of the trail. If you are first to the check, you will be known as an FRB (Front Running Bastard)!

Some hares qualify their trail markings by stating a number of "SPOTS" must be found before a trail is ON (usually it's 3 spots and OnOn). If checking for trail, as you find "SPOTS", call "CHECKING ONE", etc until right trail is confirmed and then shout "ON ON".

Note: shouting "On One" can be easily confused with "On On".

Back Check

A line across the trail with an arrow pointing back down the trail you have come along is a "BACK CHECK"! This means that you are on a "False Trail" and you should "check back" for the the right trail as it could diverge at any point from the last "CHECK".

Sometimes a "X" or an "F" is used for the same purpose.


An arrow is a positive direction that the Hares wish you to go in and is known are being "HARD ON" rather than "On On".

Sometimes they are also used when there is an option of short, medium or long trails and sometimes to separate runners and walkers trails.

Beer Check

A circle with a "B" inside it is known as a "BEER CHECK", and circles with an "S" in, are used to indicate a "SWEETIE CHECK".

At these checks you will find sustenance, and have a chance to catch your breath and chat with others in the pack.

Near the end of the trail the hares will have written in flour "ON IN" or "ON INN", depending whether an inn is involved at the end of the trail.

What next?

    • Time to chat about the trail, especially if you spent most of your time off trail

    • As mentioned above at the beginning of the run the GM asks for the pack to "Form a Circle", this also happens after the run is completed.

The Circle

    • There are no rules on the Hash, but there are traditions and a certain etiquette that should be observed.

      • In the circle the GM is always right.

      • The Religious Advisor, commonly known as the RA, is handed control of the circle by the GM.

      • The RA then administers rewards and punishments. Note: the truth is not allowed to get in the way of a good story!

      • Speaking in the circle without being invited to speak is frowned upon and is seen as disrespectful to the RA and GM.

      • If you wish to speak in the circle this can be communicated to the RA or GM by placing a drinking vessel on your head.

      • If you are called into the center of the circle, no headgear is allowed.

    • A few things that may be picked up by the RA for use in the circle.

      • Racing is a crime and those guilty of it are considered "RACIST".

      • Designer running gear is frowned upon, so consider dressing down.

      • New shoes are seen as virgin and will carry a penalty.

    • All awards and punishments involve a "DOWN DOWN", i.e. drinking a beer or softie in one.

    • A "DOWN DOWN " song is sung by the pack and when the words "drink it Down, down, down" are sung the drink should be consumed.

    • The empty drinking vessel is then placed on to the head upturned to show that it is empty.